Yes, I’m still here, and I really appreciate that a few of you have asked about me! I haven’t stopped blogging. I did temporarily stop posting, but the blogs are always percolating in my brain. I decided when I started this, I wouldn’t write just to write, that I would only post something if I felt I really had something to say. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time because I am so grateful for the people who read this.
I did kind of wonder, though, why I kept thinking about things, but didn’t quite get to the fingers-to-keyboard stage. So I went back to the date of my last post, which was November 2nd, and then I realized. Aha! That was right before my second grandson came into the world. On November 5th, our adorable little, red-headed Nathan David was born. No wonder! I’ve been a little distracted!
Now there are two. (Picture me smiling.)
This really has brought me back to the days when Dave and I had two. Leah was almost four when Lindsay was born, and Matthew was nearing four when Nathan slid into the world (funny story about that in a future post). Not only that, but two weeks ago, the boys’ beloved babysitter, Ms. Soup, had a serious family emergency, and I was tapped into service for three days last week and 2-1/2 more this week. So a whole lot of the good, the bad AND the ugly has sort of come flooding back.
Some things were very easy to block out once our girls grew up:
Babies spit up. A lot. I just had to wash every one of the five shirts I packed for the past 2-1/2 days. I packed three, along with two bonus shirts, and all five had cottage cheese on them. The one I wore this morning had a complete streak all the way down the back. Ok, I know. You’ve probably heard enough, but seriously I could go on.
Did I mention projectile? I had totally forgotten that! Well, they still do it!
Also, babies don’t sleep. Or if they do, four-year-olds don’t sleep. Or four-year-olds HAVE TO HAVE something RIGHT NOW while you’re trying to put the sleeping baby in his crib. Do they not see the sleeping baby IN YOUR ARMS??? No, they do not. They have the amazing ability to see NOTHING except that they don’t have what they need RIGHT NOW!!
And then there’s the diaper bag that I had totally blocked out of my brain. Everything must be packed in advance for every single trip – diapers, wipes, butt paste (I know, right?), change of clothes for baby, change of clothes for four-year-old, pacifiers, teething toys, bottles, snacks, and the list goes on. Fortunately, Leah is really good at planning and organizing, but I still had to stock up and try to think while making sure the little guy was safe, now that he can army crawl like nobody’s business, and reminding big guy to use his inside voice for the 17th time. All of this was for a two-hour trip to the library with a possible visit to the McDonald’s playplace. (God bless McDonald’s and their playplaces.) Two hours. In the same city. And with all the things I packed, when we were pulling away from the library, Matt said he was thirsty. Thirsty! Of course! Guess what I didn’t pack?
Some other interesting things as I continue to compare and contrast:
The four-year-old can be the sweetest, most polite, incredibly adorable and lovable little boy. Or not. You never know. In our case, that was our younger one. (Shout out to ya, Lindsay!) So there was that to anticipate. Or not. You have to plan for either. And, of course, you have to follow through and be prepared to “walk” the screaming child out of wherever you may be (or her father can throw her over his shoulder as he takes her out of Target while you pay as quickly as possible). Fortunately, the library trip was generally successful, but I was ready.
And then there are car rides. Little guy is not a big fan. Car rides saved us back in the day. One night, when Leah was a wee little thing, and her parents pretty much knew NOTHING about what to do with babies, she had been screaming for some time. SCREEEAMMMMING. We had tried all the obvious things. Nothing was working. We got out all the books. One of us would read something, and the other would try it. We’d take turns. Nothing worked. Finally, when we had gone through every book, and there were a lot of them, we plunked her in her car seat and drove. We got on the interstate and headed south from Springfield. Shortly before the small town of Divernon, heavy sigh of relief, there was peace. So we turned around and went home. From then on, that was our barometer for how badly our day might be going. We’d look at each other and say “Divernon Run?” That was how we survived. This little guy doesn’t like car rides though. But he is quite a laid-back baby (so far), so maybe they won’t need a Divernon. This is where I get to have that little smile and think, “I’m the grandma. I don’t have to raise these sweet babies.” (Picture me smiling.)
Oh, and let’s not forget colic. Neither Matt nor Nathan had colic. I just felt like bringing those days up again. (Shout out to ya, Lindsay!)
But here’s the thing about being a grandparent. You don’t usually have to deal with all the tough stuff. You get to play, and snuggle, and you’re always special, and you can buy them things and take them places, and you miss them as soon as you’re gone because you’re not with them all the time. And you have the experience to know, really know, that “this, too, shall pass.” Eventually the colic stops, and the sleepless nights get better, and they do give up the pacifiers, nursing, bottles, blankets, fears of characters, fireworks and loud noises in general (ok, shout out to Leah this time), and yes, they even get out of your bed. And they grow up and maybe have their own children, and the grandparents get to sit back and chuckle a little and be thankful. There’s more I want to say, but I think for now, I’ll just leave it at that.
Yes, I’m smiling.